I have just read that my car, a Lexus 450h, is the second most likely to be stolen and recovered by Tracker (not sure how the Tracker recovery effects the statistics). I think the Range Rover Sport was top of the list. I now know why my car insurance went up so much yesterday!
Lexus recommends the Stoplock Pro Elite. My area of Greater London, Richmond on Thames, is the second safest after Kingston so it is not a hot spot for car crime at the moment. I don’t like the look of wheel locks but if it prevents a theft with all the hassle and the inevitable big increase in insurance then I will probably buy one.
What do people think about using wheel locks. I would be interested in hearing your opinions and experiences.
Ps FYI, I keep my car keys in a signal blocker pouch.
Having spotted someone forcing the door of my SLK200 on my mate’s Ring camera (luckily the car was waiting for a tow and didn’t start) I invested in that model of lock, and I’ve not seen anyone try since. My suspicion is that they act as a reasonable deterrent in that it’s easier to try another car, but they wouldn’t stop a determined professional.
Just what I was going to add. I have but don’t use any more a disclock . It may not stop the totally determined thief, but will stop the gone in 20 second canbus/grabber thefts. It is a bit bulky, but is probably the best passive anti-theft package.
To get on off would require some effort and quite a bit of noise. Just be careful taking it on and off, as it is easy to hit the windscreen when doing so.
Another vote for dislok. Bit bulky, takes a moment to fit on initial use - make sure to slide the bolt ‘before’ locking. Key when new is a touch tricky ime, perhaps need some lock dust. Cover to go over s-wheel is available, which is worthwhile and a separate cover for storage, when the arm folds inside the cover, so fairly tidy. Available in two or more colours.
Thatcham iirc, no longer test these devices, but Dislok is one of only two to achieve its approval.
I’ve always like the idea of these, although never tried one.
An example is “Richbrook Dis-Carnect Battery Immobiliser” from Halfords. There are probably many other similar varieties, but basically it disconnect the battery terminal leaving a small connection with a low amp fuse, such that your electronics still work in the car, but any attempts to start the car, will blow that fuse. Probably more suitable to classic cars, as you may not want to lift the bonnet every time you leave the car.
As well as the Disklok and immobiliser I also have an original Pedalok made by the company who became Disklok. This locks the brakes on so pushing or towing won’t work.
A visible immobiliser such as those discussed may well deter potential car thieves (but not break-ins if anything valuable is visible. However for true immobilisation that stands a good chance of stopping even the most determined thief driving your car away one interesting one I have come across (couple of family members have it) is the Can-Phantom. It requires a personalised code in the form of electrical triggers to de-activate - for example two presses on the driver door window opener, one dab of the brake pedal, activate the rear window demister, and one more dab on the brake pedal - or whatever suits the driver to have set up, with not readily visible actions to anyone watching. Those and only those electrical actions in the correct order. If not disengaged the engine can be set to start - but die as soon as it starts moving (or other variations). It can be restarted but the same happens - the thief is simply led to believe there’s something wrong with the car.
Why waste time & money on any of these anti-theft measures?
Just do what I do to be 100% secure anywhere, at all times.
Drive a diesel…
It’s always better to have multiple security devices. Back in Sierra Cosworth heyday theft was rampant and many owners had more than one electronic immobilizer in addition to mechanical ones!
No system is foolproof and ECU ports are easily accessible for…we’ll anything. Airbags can be turned off, mileage adjusted, security removed, power increases etc
Seems very similar in principle to the Ghost Immobiliser, although I have read that insurance companies don’t seem to regard it as an insurance reducer as yet.
RWC, I’m not sure what information you have gleaned about the Lexus RX, which I presume is what you are referring to. I was the owner of a 2016 RX 450h, with no intention of changing due to combination of very low annual mileage and great build quality. When it was stolen I was unaware of what seems to be a fundamental security flaw in the RX and Toyota RAV 4 wiring loom.
Apparently, within approximately one minute a thief can remove a section of wheel arch liner (front left side), plug in a bit of kit to access the CANbus - this powers up the vehicle and the thief can drive off within the one minute!
I’m sure that is what happened to my car, despite wheel lock fitted. No doubt the professional thieves can get past these quite easily. What completely surprised me was to receive a penalty charge notice a week or so after the theft for parking in a controlled parking bay in the next London Borough to mine!
There are two key suggestions I would make to any owner of that generation of RX:
Contact your local Lexus dealer and insist upon them supplying and installing a CANbus protection plate. Lexus have developed this and are fitting them free of charge but unfortunately their dealers do not appear to be volunteering this to their customers, nor indeed alerting customers to the fundamental flaw which I suspect has fed the increase in thefts. If your dealer is not prepared to supply and fit the plate then please contact Lexus UK customer services immediately and they should sort you out. Please do this as a matter of urgency!
Have a Thatcham approved Tracker unit fitted to your vehicle. I was very cynical about the benefit of these but in my case, if I had one fitted, I would almost certainly have recovered my vehicle. My experience could of course be very different to others - I can only describe my experience.
You may also wish to consider the fitment of a Ghost immobiliser device which I read may be much more difficult for thieves to get the better of.
Thanks Peter that is very helpful. I shall contact my local dealer. Disappointed that they haven’t mentioned it unless my January 2020 model has had this done already.
The Ghost system still seems to be effective at immobilisation, even with CAN Bus injection theft - an unfortunate result of so many items on cars running over CAN so making the loom more accessible. It’s not a visible deterrent though so anything that can be done (Disklok etc) to slow things down and make a thief consider another vehicle still makes sense.
The good old Vecta immobiliser
I had one of those in my Saab 9000 Aero. A good immobiliser always seemed a better bet than an “alarm” that is either ignored or tutted at.
It does seem a complete anomaly for Lexus to deliberately withhold this vital information from customers and frankly the last company I would expect to demonstrate this behaviour given the huge effort they have made over the years to build best in class customer support. Baffles me!
Manufacturers would rather do updates themselves rather than pay a dealer. Makes me wonder if the dealer incentive is too low or non existent?
Yes I am sure you are right. If it was good price for the dealer they wouldn’t be slow in offering the CANbus protection. They keep offering aircon regas etc. I have emailed the dealer so I hope to hear next week otherwise will have to contact Lexus UK.
There have been several instances reported where dealers have eventually offered to undertake the fitment of the Lexus supplied plate however, they have asked for (memory check!) £175+ for the plate. Emails to Lexus UK customer services were required to convert their position to FOC. Bit of an own goal for Lexus by their dealers - but really Lexus should be managing this fiasco.
You can read up more on this over on the Forums - Lexus Owners Club.